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36 Things You'll Know If You Grew Up In Guildford

8 minute read
36 Things You'll Know If You Grew Up In Guildford

Published at 11:37am 22nd May 2018.

Let the nostalgia flow...


1. Friday night meant Ice Disco night at Guildford Spectrum

So you've finally convinced the boys from school to come out for the evening. Thing is, you've overlooked the fact that you've invited them to Guildford Spectrum for the Ice Disco and you can't actually ice skate. You'll have that one friend who graduates from clinging on to the sides early on and gets to skate around holding hands with a boy while you look on, unable to move away from the wall.


So you spend the evening dragging your own body weight around in circles in the freezing cold until someone brings up the idea of a Wimpy.


2. Celebrating when the Guildford Lido finally opens for summer

Is it really summer if you've not been to the Guildford Lido? or Lee-doh..? 

You've just got to remember to pack your bag the night before and take a flask because the queues will be longgggggg. 


3.  Loitering in the White Lion Walk and possibly treating yourself to a Millies Cookie

Everyone has participated in the good old teenage past time of loitering about. This includes walking around shops looking at things you can't afford because you refuse to earn your pocket money by cleaning your Mum's car and forcing your friends to order a drink in a cafe so you can sit in there and kill half an hour.


Hot spots include the Friary Centre or 'the magic circle'. If you're lucky, you'll all pitch in for a giant Millies cookie.


4. Visiting Flares, Pryzm, Dusk... or whatever they're called!

Getting your shoes stuck on the floors, showing off your best macarena, and laughing at your friend's photo on their provisional driving license all part of a standard night out in Guildford. 

Final, Pop World, Cinderella's, The Drink, Voodoo Lounge, Time, Vinyl, Cameo, Bojangles... 


5. Your First Big Night Out In London

Dad's given you a talk on stranger danger in the car and Mum's crying into her Joules cardigan but you've done it, you're finally on your first night out with your friends in London!


You feel grown up and excited until you end up getting a friend's Dad to give you a lift home in his BMW. He'll probably stop at Burger King on the way too.

6. Summer Evenings at Old Orleans

The only place to get proper American comfort food in Surrey (we still miss the nachos)

...or if you were a bit older a post work pint in the summer!

7. Visiting the Guildford Doll's Hospital

If you were one of those children who cut Barbie's hair and pushed action man his limits, the Guildford Doll's hospital was the place you could go to make the world right again!

8. Learning to drive on a congested A3

You've turned 17, everyone now owns a pastel coloured mini cooper but has no idea how to drive it. L Plates are more common on Surrey's roads than branches of Little Waitrose. 

You barely get through your driving lesson due to A3 congestion and the blocked one way system.. but as they (possibly only us) say, if you can learn to drive in Guildford, you can drive practically anywhere!

9. Guilfest was the highlight of your summer

The biggest weekend in Guildford's calendar! 

You'd be rocking to Status Quo, Kool & the Gang and the Boom Town Rats. As well as secretly getting really into N-dubz and you definitely didn't laugh when Olly Murs fell down the stairs. 

You've probably still got the t-shirt and only use it to sleep in.

10. Having to explain that you're definitely not posh!

Just because you have a horse riding trophy and played hockey in school doesn't mean you're posh. But will anyone outside of Surrey listen?!


11. Realising you know way too much about Alice and Wonderland

...and many other facts that Guildfordians find interesting but anyone else probably doesn't want to know.

Did you know? Henry VIII used Guildford Castle to store his rabbits! 
Did you know this isn't an episode of QI?

13. Cheesybobs!

Right, this is a weird one. Wood louse. Why on earth do we call them 'cheesybobs'? Who came up with this? Where did the cheese come from? 

We love that this is still being taught in Guildford Primary Schools.

Definitely a good test to see whether someone is truly a Guildfordian!


14. Bretts Burgers in Woodbridge Road

The best local burger of the 80s. Forget Gourmet Burger Kitchen with their ridiculously tiny fries or 5 Guys with their free 'please spend more with us' nuts. Brett's was the place to be!  


15. The Carnival

Where you'll see everyone you know, have a good laugh and give your pennies to the most eccentric floats!

16. Bojangles

The only place to go at the end of a school year and at graduation!

17. Dancing around handbags in Cinderellas

Dancing in a circle with your friends hoping for a slow song at the end of the night so you can dance with that guy you've had your eye on. In reality, it usually ended with the lights being switched on way too early!


18. Standing in a booth listening to records

The teenage dilemma of wanting to hear the latest songs but not having enough money to buy them. Meaning you spent an awful lot of time hanging around the listening booths!

19. Having a frothy coffee in Boxers

On the right-hand corner of Tunsgate and upstairs was Guildford's fist coffee shop where many had their first real cup of coffee! Apparently, it was a hot spot for poetry too.


20. The 'A' Train

Back in the 1960s and early 70s, the A-Train was Guildford's bluebeat and reggae venue!


21. Watching Saturday Pictures at the Odeon

At the top of the high street was the fabulous Guildford Odeon. From the 1930s to 2002 the Odeon was the place everyone went to for the latest films, multiple first dates and even to see performances from The Beatles and the Rolling Stones!

Opening Day of The Guildford Odeon - 1935 - David Corrie

22. Watching the power station coal grabber

Up on the Woodbridge Road.

23. Visiting the peacocks at Stoke Park

But don't get too close!


24. The Old Victorian swimming pool by the Castle

Before Bedford Rd and Spectrum came along, the old victorian swimming pool was the place to go for a dip even if it was probably easier to go to Cranleigh!


25. No other high street is good enough when you move away

Guildford Highstreet has one of the best selection of shops around and there's not many places like it!

Your high street doesn't have a clock on from the 1600s does it? and what's shopping without the added fear of tripping on cobblestones?

26. Calling the AA roundabout the...AA roundabout!

Who knew a roundabout could be so famous? 

27. The siren in the old sports centre swimming pool

You definitely knew when your time was up!


28. Kinch & Lack

Hours of picking out and trying on your new school uniform.. and don't forget the brilliant money tubes!


29. Eating chips and vinegar in the old sports centre

The only thing to eat after a long swim and all that time spent avoiding the high diving boards!


30. Throwing your red County School hat into the River Wey

Everyone on the Onslow Road bridge, when you reached the end of the fifth form! Nothing better than seeing them float down the river. You're Mum might have a few questions about it's disappearance though... 


31. Smelling the coffee from the grinder from the top of the high street.


32. Playing in the sandpit at St Martha's.

It got everywhere!

st martha

33. Going to the fun fair 

Where the Guildford Spectrum is now.


 34. Visiting the Cafe in Burpham where Aldi is now

A popular place to be when you were in school, especially around the same time the schools at George Abbot were separated for boys and girls!


35. Climbing the steps of the castle

But it was worth it to stand in the cage and look out over the town!

36. Burning your legs on the metal Helter Skelter at Stoke Park

...but you always had a second go anyway!


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